Many parents don't recognize child's obesity
New research by scientists at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the UCL Institute of Child Health suggests that many parents are unaware that their children have a weight problem unless they are extremely obese. They also found that parents are more likely to underestimate their child’s weight if the child is male, or if they are black or south Asian or from economically-deprived backgrounds.
The team analyzed data from questionnaires completed by the parents of 2,976 children in five different regions of the U.K. taking part in the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). The study found that a third of parents (915 respondents) underestimated their child’s BMI before the child was weighed. The scale classified children as underweight, healthy weight, overweight or very overweight (obese). Only four parents out of 369 accurately classified their children as being very overweight, or obese.
The findings suggest that more needs to be done to help parents understand what “overweight” means, what the health risks are with obesity, and how to promote healthier lifestyles in their children.